While it will come down hard on offenders as part of its campaign against drink-driving, the traffic police has decided to reward sober motorists by giving them a rose on December 31. The rose is a reward for not drinking while driving. A report in this newspaper on Monday about the rose-giving may have raised a few laughs but it drives home the point about the high number of drink-and-drive cases on New Year’s Eve. That explains the high number of nakabandis on the day and the strict checking, all justified as New Year revellers make their way home. Traffic cops have warned that they will be coming down very hard on drink-driving.
One should not need warnings and nakabandis to curb and cut out drink-driving altogether. While the cops are doing their duty, ensuring that drunk drivers are off the road, it is not the cops that should do that but your inner voice. Adults at the wheel must realise that when they start driving that car, they have taken responsibility for their life and the lives of those in the car. They are also indirectly responsible for pedestrians who are walking alongside the road, not crossing roads rashly or jaywalking.
This sense of responsibility should not come because of a fear of nakabandis or being caught by the cops and possibly jailed, but ingrained in one. ‘You cannot drink and drive’ should be the cardinal rule you make for yourself when you get a driving licence.
Do not make an exception on New Year’s Eve. Do not fool yourself saying that the occasion warrants it. Do not think that two or three drinks would not hurt and you would be well under the limit.
Alcohol and driving never mix. Instead it makes drivers rash, slow in reflexes, foolhardy, and imbues oneself with a dangerous and false sense of confidence. It is important not to succumb to pressure, with friends and hangers-on egging one to have a drink, saying it won’t hurt your driving skills. Enjoy, but with a sense of responsibility. Alcohol and driving is a lethal cocktail you cannot and should not say cheers to.
Wishing you a happy and safe 2015.
Hemal Ashar is a editor, News Features